Critical Plant Studies in Taiwan presents a historical overview of vegetal ecocriticism in Taiwan. Divided into 12 chapters, it examines the human-plant entanglements on the island. Covering a wide spectrum of topics, such as the imperial plant explorations, the military casuarina afforestation, the mangrove conservation movement, the ecofeminist rooftop garden, the Indigenous millet restoration, the underground mycorrhizal network in urban Taipei, etc., it discloses the phyto-politics in the historical context of the vegetal materialist condition of the island. Intersecting the poetics and politics of plant narratives, it presents the multispecies plantscapes of the island. The first of its kind, the collection launches the historical and localized critical plant studies in Taiwan.
Iping Liang is Distinguished Professor of English and American studies in the Department of English at National Taiwan Normal University.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Greedflation and Sugarcane Landscaping in Taiwan: A Transcultural Reading of Lord of Formosa by Joyce Bergvelt
- Theodoor A.M. Richard
Chapter 2: Empire’s Nature: Economics, Ecology, and Formosan Tea in Nineteenth-Century Western Travelers’ Natural Histories
- Li-Ru Lu
Chapter 3: Oriental Beauty: The Tea Plantations and Global Tea Trade in 19th-century Taiwan
- Iping Liang
Chapter 4: From Resonance to Solastalgia: Tea Poems of Taiwan, ca. 1820-1920
- Stephen Roddy
Chapter 5: Brothers Locked in Strife: A Molecular Reading of Blood Camphor
- Ya-feng Wu
Chapter 6: Beyond Cold War Afforestation: Trans-scalar Imaginary of Casuarinas
- Weibon Wu
Chapter 7: Mangrove Taiwan: A Birdman’s View of an Island Environmental Identity
- Rose Hsiu-li Juan
Chapter 8: Politics of Femininity, Politics of Plants: The Roof Garden in Zhu Tianwen’s “Fin De Siècle Splendor”
- Pei-Wen Clio Kao
Chapter 9: “My head like a mushroom below”: Chen Kehua’s Vegetal Gothic and the Anthropocene
- Li-hsin Hsu
Chapter 10: Reclaiming the Commons: An Ambient Poetics in Jessica J. Lee’s Two Trees Make a Forest
- Kathryn Yalan Chang
Chapter 11: The Cultural Narrative of Tayal “Millet Ark”
- Yih-Ren Lin, Pagung Tomi, Hsinya Huang, Chia-Hua Lin and Ysanne Chen
Chapter 12: The Call of the Hyperobjects: Plants as Zones of Aesthetic Causality in Tao Lin’s Taipei
- Chingshun J. Sheu
About the Contributors
This timely collection demonstrates the blossoming of critical plant studies in Taiwan, an island of distinctive botanical diversity. Through phytocritical readings of diverse literary and cultural materials, contributors call attention to a range of absorbing topics—from plantation histories and tea poetry to rooftop gardens and millet cultivation—as well as a variety of urban, rural, and wild vegetal agents. Reflecting the multidimensionality of human-flora relations in Taiwan, this landmark publication is the first of its kind to foreground the emergence of the field within a specific cultural context.
How do plants shape Taiwan’s history, culture, and politics? In this groundbreaking critical anthology, Iping Liang and a team of eco-scholars explore the varied interactions and complex relationships between plants, humans, and places in Taiwan. It is a must-read for those who are interested in Taiwan’s Vegetal Humanities scholarship.
Critical Plant Studies in Taiwan, edited by Iping Liang, is a pioneering study about ways in which the vegetal, the botanical, and the human are entangled, and continuously impact on and influence each other. This is a book that offers something for everyone: for the experts and the uninitiated. The essays written by leading scholars in the field of East Asian Critical Plant Studies focus on Taiwan’s varied vegetation.